MacArthur grantee the Juvenile Justice Initiative helped forge an alliance between Illinois prosecutors and public defenders to pass a bill – over the objections of Governor Rod Blagojevich – that limits long-term access to information about juvenile sex offenders.  Earlier this year, the Illinois Legislature passed the bill that allows judges, after a hearing, to remove the young offenders from the state registry of sex offenders at the end of two years for a misdemeanor offense, or after five years for a felony offense.  The bill also states that the juveniles no longer have to register as an adult sex offender when they turn 17.  Gov. Blagojevich had vetoed the bill, citing public safety concerns. But supporters argued that juvenile sex offenders should have a chance to show they have been rehabilitated. The state bill follows the recent passage of federal legislation that requires juvenile information to be placed in a national public registry for life.

Juvenile Justice, Justice, Youth